In its simplest definition, a traditional film or media archive was a repository that offered physical access to documents, media, and resources that were substantially different from the secondary sources that referenced and interpreted them. Materials could be accessed only after a formal protocol (including correspondence, bookings, and often payment) had been followed, and frequently researchers were not permitted to photograph, photocopy, or reproduce them. Scholars of film and media history consequently had a uniquely difficult task: they had to watch films in archives on Moviolas or Steenbecks, and they had to make notes during viewings that would allow them to later recall not just narrative and intertitles, but also a...

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